“Chronic anxiety is a state more undesirable than any other, and we will try almost any maneuver to eliminate it,” wrote Robert E. Neale in The Art of Dying.
Anxiety is, indeed, difficult to live with.
However, some of the most creative and influential people in the world are also known to have been a little anxious.
Anxiety often comes hand-in-hand with а number of strong personal assets. These may include a high IQ, a sensitive soul, and a creative mind. Anxious people are often endowed with a drive for achievement. They also tend to care too much about others’ opinion.
It’s no wonder people often find themselves falling for the anxious. So – what happens when you do?
Here are 16 things you should expect when your loved one has anxiety:
1. Expect firm boundaries.
Sometimes anxious people – and especially anxious introverts – simply need to be alone. It is not that they do not truly love you, or that they have certain reservations towards your relationship. They just need their personal space, where they can recover from the daily stress.
2. Expect to be appreciated for the little things you do.
We notice everything, and we are grateful for even the smallest of gestures. No effort on your part to keep the relationship alive will remain unreciprocated.
3. Expect our bond to run deep and grow quickly.
Once you are in our inner circle, you are in for life. Because of our condition, we’ve learned to appreciate true friendship and cherish the love we receive from others.
4. Expect to be the one responsible for making plans.
We do not mind having things planned out for us sometimes, because having too many choices can stress us out.
5. Expect to learn to listen, rather than give advice.
When we are anxious, we need to let the steam out. It’s therapeutic. We are sorry, if we sometimes have it out with you!
6. Expect to cope with hundreds of failed anxiety management attempts.
7. Expect to give reassurance more than you’d like to.
Tell us we’re safe. Tell us we’re loved. Tell us it’ll all be okay. Even if it is OK and you cannot see anything in the horizon that can threaten our relationship.
8. Expect reason to be powerless against anxiety.
This is true for even the most logical of anxious people. All we need in such moments is unconditioned support.
9. Expect to learn some deep breathing exercises.
Walk your partner through them in times of trouble. They are amazingly effective when dealing with fits of anxiety.
10. Expect to communicate honestly.
Your partner will sense if you are holding something back. This will only add to their anxiety and exacerbate the situation. Moreover, you can thus put your relationship at a serious risk.
11. Expect some weird sleep patterns.
Anxiety often goes hand in hand with insomnia and other sleep disorders. More often than not, you and your anxious partner are going to have different bedtimes.
12. Expect lots of lists and itineraries.
Preparation helps to alleviate our anxiety. Please don’t try to stray from the plan. Nothing brings us greater ressurance than having a plan to stick to.
13. Learn to provide stability rather than drama.
We don’t like to do the on-and-off thing. We need a partner we can depend on. We thrive on this. We create the drama and we need somebody to have it sorted out for us.
14. Expect to encounter problems that you can’t solve for us.
Learn to be okay with that. However hard you may try to support your anxious partner, there are issues they need to sort out themselves.
15. Learn to encourage your partner to practise self-care.
Explain to your anxious partner that it’s not the same thing as being lazy or self-indulgent. Health is just as important as accomplishments.
16. Learn not to neglect your own self-care.
Your well-being is important, too. You cannot effectively provide support for your anxious partner, if you feel emotionally exhausted.
“Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be,” wrote Jennifer Elisabeth.
At times, your partner’s anxiety may seem very difficult to cope with. However, this is part of their nature and your love can be the best remedy. The healing power of love is not to be underestimated.